According to an old Czech saying, ‘každý správný chlap’ (every real man) should at some point build a house, father a son, and plant a tree. Viktor Filipi, our guest in this edition of Czech Life, isn’t quite there yet in the first two departments but the last category he knows a lot about. The 24-year-old – a student in his final year in the Masters programme in Landscape Architecture at Mendel University – began working on his family’s garden more than ten years ago; just recently it was voted by readers of idnes as “the country’s most
A children’s wing at Prague’s Motol hospital has been found to be structurally unstable. The wing, which is undergoing renovation and accommodates no patients at the moment, has moved by eight to ten centimetres, a spokeswoman for the hospital said. The hospital halted all renovation work and the building is being reviewed by experts. The facility, which is one of Europe’s largest children’s hospitals, was opened last June after a major reconstruction which cost 4.4 billion crowns.
A concert hall in České Budějovice, nicknamed Stingray, designed by the
late architect Jan Kaplický, could be completed in 2015, the head of the
local music fans’ association said. The project, which is the Czech-born
architect’s last design to be built in his native country, is expected to
cost around two billion crowns; however, the investor of the project has
not been disclosed. The supporters of the project hope that they will
secure all permits by the end of the year and construction should begin in
December 2013. The new concert hall could then open to the public in
Jan Kaplický, who died in 2009 aged 72, also designed a new National Library building in Prague, known as the Blob. However, the project was dropped under pressure from Prague City Hall.
Town and regional representatives as well as the Culture Ministry and private firm Incheba, signed a memorandum on Friday in Moravský Krumlov on joint cooperation on the renovation of the local chateau. The site, which is owned by Incheba, housed Alfons Mucha’s Slav Epic for more than 50 years, and will receive an injection of 6.2 million in 2012. Moravský Krumlov’s Mayor Tomáš Třetina said he expected in 2014 to launch new efforts for the famous work to be returned. The Slav Epic is currently on display in Prague. Culture Minister Alena Hanáková stressed that Friday’s agreement referred in no way to Mucha’s famous cycle. She said the role of the ministry over its future would be to work as liason between Prague and Moravský Krumlov.
The Czech Republic is sometimes called the land of castles and chateaus. For historic reasons, many of those monuments, including some of the most popular ones such as Lednice, Český Krumlov and Karlštejn, are owned by the state and run by the National Heritage Institute. To attract more visitors to these sits, the institute this week opened an information office in Prague. Radio Prague spoke to Tomáš Brabec from the National Heritage Institute, and asked him what information visitors can find in the new facility.
The Pilgrimage Church of Saint John of Nepomuk is a unique work of Czech-Italian architect Jan Santini Aichel, who was known for using unlikely combinations of Baroque and Gothic styles. Such a marvel is it that in 1994 it was included on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Its architecture was guided by symbols of the legend of the Czech St. John of Nepomuk, one of the foremost saints of Central Europe, but also by the disciplines of the Kabbalah.
The Czech artist and designer Eva Eislerová originally wanted to be an architect. Instead, she became one of the most highly regarded makers of art jewellery in the world, after emigrating to New York in the 1980s with her half-Czech, half-English husband, John Eisler. Today Eva Eisler, as she is known to her collectors, spends most of her time back home in Prague, where she teaches at the metals department at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design.
The company Modernista, which has a shop in the centre of Prague, deals in both original Czech furniture from the first half of the 20th century and replicas it has made under license. Perhaps most notably, Modernista sells and recreates Cubist pieces – including ceramics and clocks – which are unique to this part of the world. Owner Janek Jaros described the business to me when we spoke a few days ago.
The record auction of František Kupka’s painting The Shape of Blue has revealed shortcomings in the country’s registration of works that fall under the national heritage, especially in the area of fine arts. To date, the Czech state has failed to determine whether the painting, which was sold to a foreign buyer for 55.75 million crowns, falls under the national heritage or not, the Czech News Agency ČTK writes, citing insider sources. Should this be the case, the buyer would not be able to take the painting out of the Czech Republic. The National Heritage Institute claims that Kupka’s work does fall under the national heritage. However, the seller of the painting maintains that it does not, since the process of proclaiming it a part of the national heritage had not been completed by the time the painting went on sale. The buyer is now waiting for a decision by the Ministry of Culture on the matter.
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Hitler no ‘gentleman’, but court rules Czech state need not apologize for president’s claim Ferdinand Peroutka said so
Bertha von Suttner – Prague-born peace campaigner whose ideas on cooperation and disarmament continue to have lasting effect
Beijing ends agreement with Prague – but can spat harm Czech capital?
Czechia now ahead of Spain in GDP per capita, but still below EU average
Czech agencies smash spy ring operated by “very aggressive” Russians
Prague City Hall terminates memorandum with e-scooter operator Lime
Rare Terezín concentration camp artefacts found in attic of private home